Alan Sepinwall

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For 781 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Alan Sepinwall's Scores

Average review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 True Detective: Season 1
Lowest review score: 0 In the Motherhood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 80 out of 781
781 tv reviews
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The challenges--including a head-to-head competition where pairs of chefs are sent into various New York neighborhoods and told to cook the local cuisine--seem appropriately Big Apple-centric without being silly.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It is slow, and it requires work and careful observation, but when it achieves its breakthroughs, the effects can be as extraordinary and dynamic as any other drama on television.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    s a pleasure to report that Gossip Girl launches its fourth season with two confidently satisfying episodes. Because the episodes are designed almost as a stand-alone chapter, I can't say for sure if this bodes well for the season to come, but hey... Good Gossip Girl.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The Lost season three finale was no fluke. The show has got its mojo back, and then some.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Whether Tara is herself or someone else (including a new alter), "Tara" works as both a character drama and an absurdist family comedy because the characters are so well-drawn, and because what happened before isn't forgotten as the show moves forward.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There are enough intriguing, albeit deliberately unfinished, ideas in there to make it worth a look for any fan not only of "Galactica," but the kind of thoughtful science fiction it represented.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    I have no interest in fashion, little inherent fondness for soap operas, and I'm absolutely not the gender this show is targeting. And based on the two episodes I've seen, I'm going to be watching "Ugly Betty" every week. It's that much fun.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The show's aura of jungle mysticism is so overblown it's hilarious. I love how the castaways have to kill rats for food and make fire with sticks, but the tribal council meetings take place on a lavish, obviously prefab jungle village set that looks like the Ewok treehouse city in "Return of the Jedi." (The million-dollar grand prize is sitting over in one corner of the set - a pile of cash in an open treasure chest. Very Scrooge McDuck.)...Asinine stuff - and intensely addictive. [2 June 2000, p.37]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Chiklis always sells his end of it, and when he has a great actor opposite him, you don't really notice how puzzling the story arcs would get.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Krause could be hard to digest as the self-righteous Nate on "Six Feet Under," but he makes a fine, amusingly flustered straight man to the cast of eccentrics that Wright and producer Greg Berlanti have assembled.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Hung has more to offer than just John Thomas jokes. Amidst all the sniggering humor about how Ray has been taught to "do your best with the gifts God gave you" is some smart comedy about the state of 21st century America in general, as well as a superb lead performance from Thomas Jane.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Smith's work in "The Eleventh Hour" showed us exactly what Moffat saw in that audition...."Eleventh Hour" is also a great build-up for Karen Gillan's immensely likable Amy Pond, who has by far the most interesting, emotionally resonant backstory of the modern companions.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Though I enjoyed NBC’s pilot for Community a little bit more, "Modern Family" has as assured and entertaining a start as you could hope for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There's definitely a joy to this series, no matter how dire things get for its characters.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    While there was plenty these four could have continued to talk about, there was never a point where I felt they missed something obvious because they didn't know the others and what they do well enough.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The show's as cynical as ever, but it doesn't feel nearly as empty. Selina's more of an actual character--and has become an accomplished slinger of four-letter verbiage in her own right--and even if the team's screw-ups remain inevitable, the ways in which they screw up feel far less predictable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Those three performances are so good that they lift up everyone around them, whether it's Combs (best whenever he has Rashad or McDonald to spar with) or John Stamos, surprisingly subtle in what could be a thankless role as the white man who doesn't want the Youngers moving into his neighborhood.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    While at times it feels like a bleak HerskoZwick drama--"Fortysomething Going on Fiftysomething"--the stories are leavened with humor, and the chemistry between the leads, and their fine performances.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    I've seen the pilot episode at least four times already, in whole or in parts, and I laugh just as hard at the jokes now as I did the first time.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The first two ABC episodes of Scrubs, premiering back-to-back tomorrow night, more closely resemble the series in its marvelous early seasons, and suggest that Braff's victory lap will be a memorable one.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    That's Shameless in 30 seconds or less: messy, overcrowded, unapologetically frank and, at times, darkly funny.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Almost everything that made the show a treat a year ago is present for the new season.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The drama is one of the season's best because it makes you care even when you know something big is coming -- and because it finds pleasant little surprises along the way.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Though it rushes a bit through its final episode, Torchwood: Children of Earth is big in a way that very little of TV aspires to anymore. Until we see what kind of late charge "Mad Men" will have when it returns in mid-August, this is the most exciting television of the summer.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Nix and company had a very thing going last season, and they've found a way to change the show a little without screwing it up.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It ain't deep, but the new Five-0 has the setting, it has the style and it has the cast to work.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Because the comedy is so strong, the cast is so likable, and everyone involved so obviously has a passion for making the show as entertaining as it can be, there's a sense of joy around "Chuck" that's infectious.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The hour offers up office intrigue, romantic complications and a classic Don Draper pitch, not to mention the usual brilliant acting from all involved.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The fifth and final season may be the most overtly farcical, but only because things in this slightly fictionalized Baltimore have become, if you can imagine, worse than ever.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    There are shows on television that are smarter than Chuck, deeper, more ambitious, whatever. At the moment, I can't think of one that's more fun.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The miniseries is filled with superb, lived-in performances, but especially by Kirby, Page, Rose, Whitaker, and Meyers. The cast (which also includes, at various points, Mekhi Phifer, T.I., Chad L. Coleman, Erica Tazel, Anna Paquin, James Purefoy, Matthew Goode, and Sedale Threatt Jr., among many others) and crew had an impossible task in front of them, and they rose to the challenge.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The only real sin of "Joan" so far is the presence of Joe Mantegna as Joan's police chief father. Mantegna, as always, is great, but his presence in what should be a small role apparently freaked out someone at CBS. So Hall tries to give him more to do by devoting a good chunk of each episode to unrelated crime stories - very mediocre ones, at that. [26 Sept 2003, p.57]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Felicity is very clearly targeted at the Clearasil set that worships at the altar of the WB's "Dawson's Creek," but if the show can maintain the charm and poignancy of the pilot, adults may also want to pay homage to television's newest star. [29 Sept 1998, p.47]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Party Down may not reinvent Starz the way "Mad Men" did for AMC, but it's a very funny series that any cable channel would be lucky to have.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    I've seen five Archer episodes--and laughed frequently and loudly at all five.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It’s not perfect, but it’s easily the most restrained--and satisfying--Kelley series since those first couple of years of “The Practice.”
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Twists and rule tweaks will only carry a reality show so far by the time you're into the sixth season. The format itself has to be durable, and the casting has to be sharp--both of which seem to be the case in the early going.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Hart is a delight as Sabrina. She's warm, charming, always plays Sabrina as a vulnerable teen first, and a superpowerful witch second. The writing is very squarely aimed at younger viewers, but an occasional joke slips in just for the grown-ups. [27 Sept 1996, p.67]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Thanks to committed performances from Cumberbatch and Freeman, and clever writing from Moffat and Gatiss, most of it works splendidly.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The premiere doesn't necessarily have the sort of mythical, spine-tingling moments that the first season provided from time to time, but the acting remains strong (particularly by Chandler and Britton, the First Couple of primetime) and it feels like an episode of Friday Night Lights in a way that very little of season two did.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    So we have some of the best, and/or most likable, contestants in the history of the franchise, we have the most entertaining judge back, and the first two challenges very smartly play off the history of both the show and its contestants. What's not to like? I doubt this brings me back for the next standard season, but for this one? I'm in.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Midway through the first season, Lawrence, Biegel and the other writers realized their cast was so funny together that the wisest course was to just put everyone together as often as possible, let everyone be goofy, and see what happened. By the end of the season, it was often funnier many weeks than the "Modern Family" episode leading into it. And even with Aniston's guest appearance tonight, this is still the show that Cougar Town became at mid-season last year.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Nip/Tuck is the right show at the right time, a pointed, funny attack on the body biz and another winner from the cable channel that brought us "The Shield" and "Lucky." [21 July 2003, p.25]
    • Newark Star-Ledger
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Now that Sutter and company have finished the long and difficult task of fixing what wasn't working, I want to know everything it has to offer--even if some of those things may give me nightmares.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Chuck starts a step slower, with more exposition in the first two episodes and no larger-than-life character like Satan to smooth over that, but by episode three, it's just as assured and entertaining in its own extremely similar way.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    In Plain Sight is a definite for any summer TV To-Watch list; don't cross it off until you've seen at least one.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    It's at once a simple, R-rated office comedy about a bunch of people who would have nothing to do with each other if they didn't work together, and a pretty wicked satire of the quest for fame at all costs.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    This is a very smart, well-produced, great-looking cop show, one that does familiar things but does them in interesting ways.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    A show this whimsical needs a few anchors to avoid floating away altogether. Emerson is one, and the hands-off Ned and Chuck romance is the other.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    And as the new season begins, it becomes clear that gags are easier to write in abundance than gag lyrics. The non-melodic portions of the show are still a scream.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Fey's parts of the premiere are terrific, and next week's episode is an even better--and sillier--showcase for her.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Rarely have I smiled as early and as often at a new series as I have at this one, which manage to be gentle and sweet and lighter-than-air without ever departing from the Earth that we know.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    With the start of season two, it looks like the expectations might finally meet the reality--or however real a show with aliens and time travel can get.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Because Dexter's victims are always so evil, we're inclined to root for him, but moments like that--or one in where Dexter admits he doesn't really care about saving innocents, just scratching his itch to kill--gives the show more moral complexity than you would expect, and it's the better for that.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    Bee had a very strong first show, chowing down on the low-hanging fruit that is both sides of this current presidential election.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The "Seinfeld" plot doesn't kick off until the season's third episode. The first two, meanwhile, are a reminder of what a brilliant show, and a deep cast of characters, Larry has built ever since he said goodbye to Jerry and company.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Alan Sepinwall
    The Good Wife is confident and polished, and a much better showcase for Margulies than her last legal drama.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The first episode is more of a pleasant experience that holds the promise of something better down the road.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    As with the many conspiracies of "Alias," I'm not always 100 percent clear on what's happening in Hunted, but the atmosphere and suspense are terrific, and the leading lady is compelling enough that I want to see her triumph over whoever it is she's ultimately supposed to be fighting.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    It's a big swing for ABC and for Ridley, and if it's not a home run, it's also far from a big whiff.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The clear passage of time for so many others is part of the larger absurd joke that made the movie such a treat, and that makes First Day of Camp a lot of fun, even if stretching out a 97-minute movie concept to around four hours (I've seen six of the eight episodes) leads to a more uneven overall comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Basically, it's fun: creepy when it needs to be, light when it can be (which is more often than you'd expect, given the life and death stakes), doesn't look too cheap (it has an easier time than "Copper," in that it doesn't have to recreate an earlier time period).
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    The three episodes I've seen function as shaggy dog stories: not wildly funny, nor as dark and emotional as "Louie" so often gets, but amusing in spots and with a very clear voice.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    With the former "Hustle & Flow" co-stars as the leads, whoever tunes in will get something interesting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    I liked enough of "Man Seeking Woman" to stick around and see what other crazy ideas Rich has for Josh. But I'm also prepared to spend long stretches of episodes watching through my fingers like it's a horror movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    This is all excellent raw material. Of course, King adaptations often feature such impressive individual parts, and only occasionally exceed the sum of them. But the Under the Dome pilot is quite promising.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    This is the closest thing to a fresh start the show is going to get, and there are some promising developments here suggesting this could ultimately be a more rewarding viewing experience than The Killing 1.0.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Alan Sepinwall
    Quaid and Chiklis will keep me watching for a while, but in the long run I'd like to see a more ambitious approach to the material.

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